At the end of 2017, Facebook had 2.2 billion monthly active users. The mighty social networking giant is without a doubt the most popular in the world. It’s understandable then, that so many business owners and marketers automatically turn to Facebook as their number one online marketing channel. After all, the crowds are there, it’s familiar and accessible.


This post is about to list all of the reasons that a small business like yours might not want to put your time and effort into marketing on Facebook. In a nutshell, it comes down to three factors; your industry/product/service, your audience, and the channel’s restrictions.

Why Facebook might not be the right social network for your business

Reason 1 – The type of industry you are in

When it comes to choosing the right social media channels for promoting your business, bigger is not always better.

With the plethora of smaller yet just as powerful social networks available, brands in certain industries or with niche products can often get better results from a network that is more in line with their topic.

For example, businesses in the homeware and interior design industries, with products of a visual nature, have huge potential to generate revenue from visually focused platforms such as Pinterest, Houzz and Instagram.

Likewise, businesses in media or entertainment, which attend or host plenty of events and exhibitions pair naturally with both video-based networks and those that merge well with real-time posts and news, such as YouTube and Twitter.

A company that deals primarily in business-to-business deals, like a marketing agency or professional services firm, will have a much stronger impact using a channel like LinkedIn for the majority of their marketing efforts, which is designed for professional networking.

In fact, take a look at this image of all of the current social media possibilities available to your business:

social media networks

It’s kind of overwhelming, right? Don’t worry. You don’t need to know about all of them or even two-thirds of them.

You just need to know the ones that are aligned with your product or service and not be afraid to choose lesser-known platforms, if they fit with your brand and your target audience can be found there. Which brings me to the next reason Facebook might not be the right channel to focus on for your social media marketing.


Reason 2 – The audience you are targeting

The general logic amongst the business owners I speak with is ‘if Facebook has so many users, surely my audience is there’, and they’re not completely wrong. The question is though, is Facebook your audience’s preferred platform for finding out about a product or service like yours?

I’ll use myself as an example here. I’m your typical female millennial who is a very keen traveller. Do I use Facebook to find inspiration and information about travel destinations or news? Occasionally. Do I use another social media to actively search for this information? Always. I am constantly browsing Instagram and saving images to Pinterest about all things travel – accommodation, off-the-beaten-path excursions, blog reviews and so on.

If a travel company wants to reach and engage me on social media, it’s on Instagram and Pinterest they’ll find me most receptive to promotion and advertising.

Of course, that’s just me personally, but my point is before you put all your time, effort, and money into Facebook you need to have done the research with your target audience to understand which channels they are going to be most engaged with your brand on.

Here’s another quick breakdown of the biggest social media platforms and what users typically access them for:

how social channels use video

The right social media channel for your business is a combination of your industry, your audience and their activity on each channel, and my third point for consideration; the restrictions of the Facebook channel as a whole.


Reason 3 – The way that Facebook restricts brand content

More users on the Facebook platform is inevitably followed by more businesses trying to connect with those users, and not all are doing it well.

To eliminate the noise, and make a quick buck in the process, Facebook has focused heavily on making sure people see content from family and friends in their feed before they see brand content, even if that person has Liked a brand’s Facebook Page and essentially opted in.

Nowadays, for your Facebook posts to even be seen by your followers, you need to have an advertising budget.

Now, this is not an issue for the big corporations but for smaller businesses, the requirement to spend money on Facebook repeatedly boosting Page posts just so they can be seen is a problem. Many small businesses just don’t have the budget to invest in the first place.

For this reason, it’s worth considering which other platforms you could use that would have a better organic (non-paid) reach. While all of them are limited in some way, a social network like Pinterest has better visibility for businesses at the moment, although they do give advertising options to enhance this.

As an added point, when you look at the capabilities of other social media networks that could work for your industry and you know your audience is actively using, also take into account the time and resources needed to create content for this channel. There’s no use making YouTube your primary social media channel without the internal or outsourced support to plan and create videos.


Does this mean don’t use Facebook at all?

Absolutely not. My argument here is not that Facebook doesn’t work for businesses seeking brand awareness, lead generation, new business, event sign-ups and the like. It’s simply that Facebook should not be your default network of choice simply because it’s the most popular and you know how to use it.

When you market your business online, take the time to create a documented digital marketing strategy that includes research into your target audience and their online habits, competitor research, goal setting, KPI tracking and details about how you will use your selected online channels to reach your business objectives.

It sounds like a big job and perhaps you’re thinking it’s unnecessary paperwork. According to a report from CoSchedule though, marketers who document their strategy are 538% more likely to report success than their counterparts.

Without a strategy, you are more likely to execute ad-hoc tactics that are inconsistent, irregular and ineffective.

You’ll also struggle to measure the return on marketing investment of your efforts because without pre-set business goals, marketing objectives, and KPIs you simply can’t measure your performance properly.

So, go ahead and download this free digital marketing strategy template I’ve put together for you and plan your social media channels based on solid research including the three considerations above.

Choose by topic

Thumbnail Aimee Binstead

Hello there business owner!

I'm Aimee, an online marketing freelancer based in Perth, Western Australia. I believe that time is our most important asset as humans on this planet, which is why I left the corporate office world of marketing agencies to run my own days as a self-employed online marketer. It's also why I work exclusively with small business owners who need a trusted, reliable marketer to relieve them of tasks that steal their time away. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to speak with you one day very soon!

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